So it’s the holidays and we’re all supposed to be feeling grateful. Music is playing, decorations abound…it’s like you’re living in a sappy Hallmark movie…or is it?
What if you really feel tired, overwhelmed, frustrated or jealous? What if the posts on your friends’ social media walls aren’t bringing you joy? What if all you want to do is complain?
Relax. It’s okay. You do you.
Did you know that according to Robert Emmons and other positive psychology researchers, having a regular gratitude practice actually:
- Increases happiness
- Reduces anxiety & depression
- Strengthens relationships
- Is good for our bodies
- Makes us more resilient
That sounds like a list I can wrap my head around. And here’s the better news. You don’t need a lot of time, energy, expensive tools, equipment or special training.
It’s simply a choice to be grateful.
Yes, it takes intention and it’s a decision you can make right now. Stop and think about something you are thankful for. Yeah! You did it!
Still feeling like you are faking it? Instead of thinking “When I’m happy then I’ll be grateful” or “When I’m not working so hard, I’ll be grateful” flip it around. Try these on for size.
“When I’m grateful then I’ll feel happy.”
“When I’m grateful, things at work won’t feel quite so bad.”
Some of you are rolling your eyes. It’s okay. You can go back to your high stress, very busy life any time you want. You see it really is a choice. Not the external circumstances – some of those are tough to change – but the internal response is all yours.
You’ve got the power to be grateful right now and every day moving forward. Create a habit of gratitude and you’ll literally become a magnet for things to be thankful for.
Still doubtful? That’s okay. Try it a little bit at a time. Soon, you won’t remember what it felt like to complain all the time. You won’t remember why you let the little things get to you. You won’t remember the crabby old you.